Examining the feasibility of implementing behavioural economics strategies that encourage home dinner vegetable intake among low-income children

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Abstract

Objective To examine the feasibility of implementing nine behavioural economics-informed strategies, or 'nudges', that aimed to encourage home dinner vegetable intake among low-income children. Design Caregivers were assigned six of nine strategies and implemented one new strategy per week (i.e. 6 weeks) during three dinner meals. Caregivers recorded child dinner vegetable intake on the nights of strategy implementation and rated the level of difficulty for assigned strategies. Baseline data on home vegetable availability and child vegetable liking were collected to assess overall strategy feasibility. Setting Participants' homes in a large Midwestern metropolitan area, USA. Subjects Low-income caregiver/child (aged 9-12 years) dyads (n 39). Results Pairwise comparisons showed that child dinner vegetable intake for the strategy 'Serve at least two vegetables with dinner meals' was greater than intake for each of two other strategies: 'Pair vegetables with other foods the child likes' and 'Eat dinner together with an adult(s) modelling vegetable consumption'. Overall, caregivers' mean rating of difficulty for implementing strategies was 2·6 (1='not difficult', 10='very difficult'). Households had a mean of ten different types of vegetables available. Children reported a rating ≥5 for seventeen types of vegetable on a labelled hedonic scale (1='hate it', 5-6='it's okay', 10='like it a lot'). Conclusions Behavioural economics-informed strategies are feasible to implement during dinner meals, with some strategies differing by how much they influence vegetable intake among low-income children in the home.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1388-1392
Number of pages5
JournalPublic health nutrition
Volume20
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

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Keywords

  • Behavioural economics
  • Children
  • Home setting
  • Low-income
  • Vegetables

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